Thanks for visiting our site. The St. Vincent de Paul Society of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church is located in San Antonio, Texas. We welcome your comments and input. We serve the poor and underprivileged in our Parish, as well as the surrounding community. To see our Charter from the main office in Paris, click here. To learn more about what Vincentians do, click .
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♥ Tobit 4:7: Give alms from your possessions to all who live uprightly, and do not let your eye begrudge the gift when you make it. Do not turn your face away from any poor man, and the face of God will not be turned away from you.
♥ Tobit 12:8-9: Prayer is good when accompanied by fasting, almsgiving, and righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than much with wrongdoing. It is better to give alms than to treasure up gold. For almsgiving delivers from death, and it will purge away every sin. Those who perform deeds of charity and of righteousness will have fullness of life;
♥ Sirach 3:30: Water extinguishes a blazing fire: so almsgiving atones for sin.
♥ Psalm 41:1-2: Blessed is he who considers the poor! The LORD delivers him in the day of trouble; the LORD protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; thou dost not give him up to the will of his enemies.
♥ Proverbs 6:19: It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.
♥ Proverbs 21:13: He who closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself cry out and not be heard.
♥ Luke 3:11: "He said to them in reply, "Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise."
♥ Matthew 6:3-4: But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
♥ Matthew 25:40: "And the King will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."
♥ Mark 4:24: And he said to them, "Take heed what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you.
♥ Romans 2:6: For he will render to every man according to his works:
♥ Revelation 20:13: And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done."The Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1965, 1966 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved."
♥ "You must ask God to give you power to fight against the sin of pride which is your greatest enemy – the root of all that is evil, and the failure of all that is good. For God resists the proud."
♥ "However great the work that God may achieve by an individual, he must not indulge in self-satisfaction. He ought rather to be all the more humbled, seeing himself merely as a tool which God has made use of."
♥ "Humility and charity are the two master-chords: one, the lowest; the other, the highest; all the others are dependent on them. Therefore it is necessary, above all, to maintain ourselves in these two virtues; for observe well that the preservation of the whole edifice depends on the foundation and the roof."
♥ "The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil is humility. For as he does not know at all how to employ it, neither does he know how to defend himself from it."
♥ "Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity."
♥ "You will find out that Charity is a heavy burden to carry, heavier than the kettle of soup and the full basket. But you will keep your gentleness and your smile. It is not enough to give soup and bread. This the rich can do. You are the servant of the poor, always smiling and good-humored. They are your masters, terribly sensitive and exacting master you will see. And the uglier and the dirtier they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them. It is only for your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread you give to them."
♥ “No matter what others say or do, even if the wicked succeed, do not be troubled: commit everything to God and put your trust in him.”
♥ “Extend mercy towards others, so that there can be no one in need whom you meet without helping. For what hope is there for us if God should withdraw His mercy from us?”
♥ "But do you know what it is to labor in charity? It is to labor in God, for God is charity, and it is to labor for God purely and entirely; it is to do so in the grace of God."
♥ "Make it a practice to judge persons and things in the most favorable light at all times and under all circumstances."
♥ "We must love our neighbor as being made in the image of God and as an object of His love."
♥ "Free your mind from all that troubles you; God will take care of things. You will be unable to make haste in this (choice) without, so to speak, grieving the heart of God, because he sees that you do not honor him sufficiently with holy trust. Trust in him, I beg you, and you will have the fulfillment of what your heart desires."
♥ "It is our duty to prefer the service of the poor to everything else and to offer such service as quickly as possible. If a needy person requires medicine or other help during prayer time, do whatever has to be done with peace of mind. Offer the deed to God as your prayer.... Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity."
♥ "Perfection consists in one thing alone, which is doing the will of God. For, according to Our Lord's words, it suffices for perfection to deny self, to take up the cross and to follow Him. Now who denies himself and takes up his cross and follows Christ better than he who seeks not to do his own will, but always that of God? Behold, now, how little is needed to become as Saint? Nothing more than to acquire the habit of willing, on every occasion, what God wills."
♥ "He who allows himself to be ruled or guided by the lower and animal part of his nature, deserves to be called a beast rather than a man."
♥ "Whoever wishes to make progress in perfection should use particular diligence in not allowing himself to be led away by his passions, which destroy with one hand the spiritual edifice which is rising by the labors of the other. But to succeed well in this, resistance should be begun while the passions are yet weak; for after they are thoroughly rooted and grown up, there is scarcely any remedy."
♥"We ought to deal kindly with all, and to manifest those qualities which spring naturally from a heart tender and full of Christian charity; such as affability, love and humility. These virtues serve wonderfully to gain the hearts of men, and to encourage them to embrace things that are more repugnant to nature."
♥ "It ought to be considered a great misfortune, not only for individuals, but also for Houses and Congregations, to have everything in conformity with their wishes; to go on quietly, and to suffer nothing for the love of God. Yes, consider it certain that a person or a Congregation that does not suffer and is applauded by all the world is near a fall."
♥ 2208 The family should live in such a way that its members learn to care and take responsibility for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped, and the poor. There are many families who are at times incapable of providing this help. It devolves then on other persons, other families, and, in a subsidiary way, society to provide for their needs: "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world."
♥ 2443 God blesses those who come to the aid of the poor and rebukes those who turn away from them: "Give to him who begs from you, do not refuse him who would borrow from you"; "you received without pay, give without pay." It is by what they have done for the poor that Jesus Christ will recognize his chosen ones. When "the poor have the good news preached to them," it is the sign of Christ's presence.
♥ 2444 "The Church's love for the poor . . . is a part of her constant tradition." This love is inspired by the Gospel of the Beatitudes, of the poverty of Jesus, and of his concern for the poor. Love for the poor is even one of the motives for the duty of working so as to "be able to give to those in need." It extends not only to material poverty but also to the many forms of cultural and religious poverty.
♥ 2446 St. John Chrysostom vigorously recalls this: "Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs." "The demands of justice must be satisfied first of all; that which is already due in justice is not to be offered as a gift of charity": When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice.
♥ 2447 The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities. Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy, as are forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently. The corporal works of mercy consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead. Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God:
- "He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none and he who has food must do likewise. But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, everything is clean for you. If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?"
♥ 2448 "In its various forms - material deprivation, unjust oppression, physical and psychological illness and death - human misery is the obvious sign of the inherited condition of frailty and need for salvation in which man finds himself as a consequence of original sin. This misery elicited the compassion of Christ the Savior, who willingly took it upon himself and identified himself with the least of his brethren. Hence, those who are oppressed by poverty are the object of a preferential love on the part of the Church which, since her origin and in spite of the failings of many of her members, has not ceased to work for their relief, defense, and liberation through numerous works of charity which remain indispensable always and everywhere."
♥ 2449 Beginning with the Old Testament, all kinds of juridical measures (the jubilee year of forgiveness of debts, prohibition of loans at interest and the keeping of collateral, the obligation to tithe, the daily payment of the day-laborer, the right to glean vines and fields) answer the exhortation of Deuteronomy: "For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, 'You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor in the land." Jesus makes these words his own: "The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me." In so doing he does not soften the vehemence of former oracles against "buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals . . .," but invites us to recognize his own presence in the poor who are his brethren: When her mother reproached her for caring for the poor and the sick at home, St. Rose of Lima said to her: "When we serve the poor and the sick, we serve Jesus. We must not fail to help our neighbors, because in them we serve Jesus.
♥ In serving the sick, you should have God alone in view. You should not be too lenient and condescending when the sick refuse to take remedies or become too insolent, yet you must beware of showing either resentment or contempt in your demeanor toward them. On the contrary, treat the sick with respect and humility, remembering that all harshness and disdain, as well as the services and the honor you render them, are directed to our Lord himself.
♥ The order of society is based on two virtues: justice and charity. However, justice presupposes a lot of love already, for one needs to love a man a great deal in order to respect his rights, which limit our rights, and his liberty, which hampers our liberty. Justice has its limits whereas charity knows none.
♥ Charity is the Samaritan who pours oil on the wounds of the traveler who has been attacked. It is justice's role to prevent the attack.
♥ Charity must never look to the past, but always to the future, because the number of its past works is still very small and the present and future miseries that it must alleviate are infinite.
♥ Exploitation occurs when the master considers his workers not as a partner nor even as an assistant, but as an instrument out of which he must extract as much service as possible at the smallest possible price. Yet the exploitation of a man by another man is slavery. The worker-machine is nothing more than part of capital like the slaves of the ancients. Service becomes servitude.
♥ We must investigate doctrine and measures which would aim at guaranteeing for workers a correct proportion between labor and rest ... and a pension for their old age.
♥ The problem which divides people today is not a political problem; it is a social one. It is a matter of knowing which will get the upper hand, the spirit of selfishness or the spirit of sacrifice; whether society will go for ever-increasing enjoyment and profit, or for everyone devoting themselves to the common good ... Many people have too much and still want more. Others do not have enough, or do not have anything at all, and they want to take by force what is not being given to them. A war is threatening between these two groups. On one side, the power of wealth, on the other the force of desperation. We must get in between these two groups, at least to reduce the impact if we cannot stop it. Because we are young; because we are not wealthy, we can more easily fill the role of mediators.
♥ One only means of salvation remains to us, that is, that Christians, in the name of love, interpose between the two camps (of rich and poor) passing like beneficent deserters from one to the other ... communicating mutual charity to all, until this charity, paralyzing and stifling the egotism of both parties, and every day lessening their antipathies, shall bid the two camps arise and break down the barriers of prejudice, and cast aside their weapons of anger and march forth to meet each other, not to fight but to mingle together in one embrace, so that they may form but one fold under one pastor.